Puerto Vallarta, the Mexican vacation hotspot known for its popular beaches, water sports, and nightlife is tightening their COVID-19 restrictions, as a result of the most recent surge that has rocked this coastal city.
From Monday January 3rd to January 10th, Puerto Vallarta saw an increase of 1300% of COVID-19 cases throughout the city. Health Authorities reported 879 cases of symptomatic COVID-19, which was up from the ONLY 60 cases they had a year earlier. Overall the popular tourist country of Mexico, has seen a sharp increase in cases, likely due to the new Omicron variant that has been sweeping across many parts of the world. This past Tuesday, Mexico recorded 33,626 new infections on a single day – which is obviously causing some concern across certain regions. This number is especially worrisome, considering only 58% of the Mexican population is fully vaccinated against the contagious virus.
As a direct result of these staggering statistics, the Mexican state of Jalisco – which contains Puerto Vallarta as well as the bustling inland city of Guadalajara, are rolling out new COVID-19 restrictions – hoping to decrease the amount of current and future infections.
New Rules in Puerto Vallarta
Beginning on January 14th, tourists and locals within the state of Jalisco, will be required to show proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test taken within 48 hours to enter establishments such as bars and clubs, as well as concerts and stadiums. This new mandate will only apply to people eighteen years and older.
Puerto Vallarta is one of the few Mexican cities that has also clamped down on large cruise ships and arriving passengers on their shores. The Jalisco Health Secretariat and the Board of Health released in a statement, that the disembarkment of passengers on cruise ships to Puerto Vallarta has NOT been denied, or WILL NOT be denied in the future — as long as passengers present proof of a negative COVID-19 test.
This differs from the most recent announcement from the Mexican Health Department which stated that Mexican ports will receive cruise ships WITH COVID-19 cases on board, ensuring no massive ships will be turned away in search of another landing. The Health Department went on to say that passengers or crew who show no symptoms will be allowed to come ashore, while those with symptoms or a positive test will be quarantined or given medical care.
What about the rest of Mexico?
The Mexican state of Jalisco isn’t the only Mexican region turning to recent harsher restrictions. Tlaxcala, which is known for its ancient Mayan ruins and lies less than two hours to the east of Mexico City, will now require proof of vaccination to enter places like hotels, shopping centers, cafeterias, supermarkets, and taquerias.
Similarly, health authorities in Baja California stopped short of enforcing a mandate, but they issued a similar recommendation last week. This comes after they saw a record-breaking 1,058 new COVID-19 cases in less than 24 hours, the most cases ever seen in a single day since the pandemic began. This recommendation stated that businesses such as restaurants, bars, and casinos can decide whether to ask customers for proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test.
Currently all tourists from ALL countries are allowed to enter Mexico. These passengers are NOT required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test or a vaccination upon arrival.
With little to no rules during the pandemic these past two years, Mexico continues to be a popular destination for travelers — especially in such places as Cancun, Tulum, and Cozumel which continue to have no restrictions.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com